By the women who ride fat bikes
The Yukon trails have their secret tales
Of the good times that everyone likes.
The Northern Lights have revealed cool sights
But the coolest they ever did guide
Was a fat bike train across wintry terrain
By four girls out for a weekend ride.
Where the sunshine always stays
Why she left her home in the south to roam
Round the frozen wastelands, she couldn't say.
She was always sore, but Yukon lore
Seemed to hold her like a spell.
And she drove all day just to while away
A weekend on these snow-covered trails.
Over the Dawson Trail.
Thoughts of cabin beds for the cold night ahead
Kept them hammering like they were driving nails.
With grins frozen in place at the wide-open space,
Where a remote trail provides adventure and thrills.
It tickled them all, but the biggest smile of all
Belonged to Alaska Jill.
@AlaskaJill) is misleading. (It was more true when I created the account while living in Alaska.) Then, in the way great things work in random ways, we figured out we had common interests in snow biking and mutual friends in Canada, and started discussing the possibility of meeting up for a winter bike trip in the Yukon. After a couple months of spontaneous planning in 140 characters or less, The Real Alaska Jill and I finally met in person, and then drove a truck 700 miles from Anchorage to Whitehorse.
The trip was unique in many ways, but I think one of the coolest aspects was the fact that four women were pedaling fat bikes across a rather daunting distance in the Yukon backcountry during the winter. The sport of snow biking is growing, but it's still tiny and dominated by men. The strangeness of four girls on fat-wheeled bicycles wasn't lost on the handful of hunters that passed us on Sunday, staring almost googly eyed at us as they inquired about what we were possibly doing out there. We got a late start and had to pedal fairly hard in a race with daylight (which fades so much later now than it did just three weeks ago at this latitude.) We encountered our "cabin boy" Sky Hunter* about 25 miles down the trail. Sky told us the public cabin was occupied by bison hunters, but there was a trapper's cabin a few miles away that was empty. (*that's his real name)
|Photo by Jenn Roberts|
The next morning, Sierra cooked breakfast over the dwindling fire while I tried to steal as much extra sleep as I could (this was the same night Beat was making his way through -40 temperatures between Nikolai and McGrath, and I let the lack of cell phone reception work me up into an anxiety-ridden lather over a situation that was a thousand miles away and completely beyond my control.) Anyway, because of this, I really didn't sleep. But I was excited to get back on the trail (and, as Jenn pointed out later, closer to cell reception.)
|Photo by Jenn Roberts|
Thanks to Sierra, Jenn, and The Real Alaska Jill (or Jill Hunter or whatever other nicknames we came up with this weekend. There were many.) I really enjoyed my weekend with the girls.